Who are your floral customers?

Published: Tuesday 28 May 2019

Who are your floral customers?

Building and running a business is tough as any business owner can tell you.  But one of the important parts of running a business is understanding and analyzing who is your market.

Your bricks and mortar store will have different types of customers than your online store.  Sometimes the two groups coincide and use an omni-channel sales approach.

For florists there is a wealth of conflicting data on just who your consumers are.  In this article that we follow on from last week’s article on the difference between profitability and loss we try to identify some of our useful data on your consumers.

Three types of Floristry Customers

There are three main types of customers:

  • in-store (Bricks & mortar);
  • Telephone;
  • Online. 

These groups overlap quite heavily and it’s not uncommon for the same person to purchase using different sales channel.

Your Bricks and Mortar In-store Customers are:

  • Home Flower Buyers
  • Gift Givers
  • Corporate Buyers
  • Event Buyers (weddings etc)
  • Funeral Home Flowers

Online Florists generally have two types of customers:

  • Corporate Buyers
  • Gift Givers

For this analysis we are going to ignore the event and funeral buyer as these are very specific consumers.

So what are the characteristics of each type of customer and what do they want?

Home Flower Buyer

  • Generally Female 25
  • Will generally buy flowers more than 4 times a year
  • Will buy flowers around events, for example Christmas for the home
  • Will buy flowers from the same source IE the same Florist Store or Supermarket

Gift Givers

There are two types of gift givers and whilst they have similar traits, they behave differently online.

Male Gift Giver

  • Male 25 – 60 plus
  • Generally Tertiary Educated
  • Married or long term partner
  • Will buy flowers primarily for their partner
  • They are occasion driven IE Birthday or Anniversary
  • They are event driven IE Valentine’s Day
  • They will spend more money
  • They will buy larger arrangement equating size with value and emotional outcome
  • More likely to use a florist choice or pre-designed option
  • More likely to buy roses or other known

Female Gift Giver

  • Female 25 – 60
  • Working
  • Generally buys flowers for co-workers & Friends & Family
  • Is more likely to be looking for a product that evokes an emotional response in them
  • likely to buy flowers in store & Online but they seek a multi-sensory experience
  • Likely to be more cost sensitive
  • More likely to request a specific combination of flowers for an order, or a change to an order
  • More likely to compare across multiple sites

Corporate Buyer

  • Female 25
  • Working in an office environment
  • Buying on behalf of a business
  • More likely to have a regular floral order for an office
  • Ordering Flowers on behalf of someone as either a gift or for the office
  • Is price driven and has a budget in mind
  • Is driven by the visual size of the arrangement

Characteristics are similar for online consumers as they are for in store, but there is very little ‘for home’ purchasing of flowers online.

Gift Giving online is more likely to be done by female consumers year round, except Valentine’s Day when it’s more likely to be males purchasing.  Corporate buying is more likely to be done by female consumers either online or in store.

Men buy online for gift giving, women buy in store & online for home use and gift giving.

Some interesting characteristics of online flower consumers:

  • Women are more likely to remember where they last ordered flowers
  • Men do not generally remember where they last purchased flowers from
  • Men are more likely to respond to reminders about sending flowers such as emails or text messages
  • Women are more likely to interact with sensory type advertisements for flowers on social media IE something that looks beautiful
  • Millennials do not generally buy flowers online, preferring gifts of experiences
  • When millennials do spend money on flowers, they spend significantly less than other consumers
  • Consumers over 55 spend twice as much as those aged between 16 – 33, but they are a significantly smaller group.

Holidaying purchasing IE Mothers Day and Valentines Day still account for the majority of holiday floral sales each year with Christmas, Passover, Easter & Thanksgiving being about the same small sales volumes. 

What does this actually mean for online floral sales?

The way you set up your site and the products you offer should match the characteristics of the users.

Whilst there has been growth in men buying flowers online over the last several years (especially for Valentine’s Day) women are still the primary consumers of online flowers.

But importantly we shouldn’t fall into the trap of an ecommerce gender gap on florist websites as this would miss the mark. We want to meet ALL consumers needs regardless of gender.

We know from pretty vast experience that all user types, whether male / female, gift or corporate givers search by the most common gift giving categories which are:

Birthday

Sympathy

New Baby

Get Well

Thank You

Anniversary / Love / Romance

So unless you have a very good reason you should include these categories on your site.

Include Roses as a Category

Why?

Men are more likely to be more traditional and purchase roses as the default romantic gift so include Roses as a product Category.

Include Price Ranges

Corporate Gift Givers are looking based on budget so including price ranges is extremely important.  But consumers in general will have a budget in mind so it’s useful to have a way for them to sort by price

Three Primary search techniques

The same can be said for both male and female consumers, their three product search strategies are:

  1. Occasion
  2. Price
  3. Flower

Multiple Price Points & Include Pictures of the Price Points

Every floral product you have on sale should have at least three different price points, and if you can you should also have an image of the different price points so consumers (men) can see what they are getting.

As a platform dedicated to online sales we have a unique perspective over hundreds of websites.  We also get to implement new strategies and then review whether they work.  Simplicity is the key to online flower sales and removing the unwanted “noise” and distractions.

To this end a well designed, simple and easy to use checkout experience is vital. Men want to choose their flowers and checkout quickly and efficiently.

Whilst may want to compare and contrast flowers and prices they still want to checkout efficiently.

To that end the updated checkout improves the experience for customers and removes even more of the extraneous noise that distracts people from buying.

Sources

https://www.sectorsdonut.co.uk/sectors/retail-wholesale/florist/customer-profile

https://www.bplans.com/florist_business_plan/market_analysis_summary_fc.php

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289660390_An_Analysis_of_Floral_Consumption_Values_and_Their_Difference_for_Genders_and_Geographic_Regions

https://www.pma.com/~/media/pma-files/research-and-development/floral-trends-report.pdf?la=en

https://floriologyinstitute.com/consumer-trends-shift-young-men-buying-more-flowers/

Drew Wentzel

Drew Wentzel

Drew Wentzel is the principal of enflexion with over 25 years of experience in developing web services and software, Drew has helped design and develop usable and functionality rich Internet applications and built online presences for a wide variety of industries including retail, government, hospitality, lifestyle, corporate and technology companies.

Tags: Marketing, Business

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